Sea Foam buries the Caravan Park 2

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The foam is merely the ocean water whipped up by a wild storm. This is quite normal in surf to a minor degree, but the cyclone generated so much more. I understand that one critical factor is the presence of organic matter derived from the breakdown of algae present in the water.

About a month earlier than this, I was flying along the coast and observed an algal bloom in the ocean near the coast, all the way from northern Fraser Island to the Sunshine Coast - this photo above having been taken on the Sunshine Coast at Mooloolaba. (I have uploaded a couple of images of the algal bloom.)

Because there are rivers emptying into the ocean nearby (Maroochy and Mooloolah Rivers), there was also some flood discolouration of the water. Of course, I waded into the foam, and the foam was not only quite dirty (from the river floods) but also carried quite a lot of sand grains with each bubble, so my clothing needed washing afterwards both to clean and remove the sand. The foam and sand tend to be surprisingly sticky.

It is not the result of soap or other pollutants in the water.

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Comments (7)

ebi lutze on February 2, 2013

Hi Ianfrom the group A1-Unique Australia. An other tragic shot from you, you can not help but pity the people involved. I hope you are not and you are save. Regards Ebi

Ian Stehbens on February 2, 2013

I am safe, Ebi but as you realize many have been either flooded or have had their homes wrecked by small tornadoes that touched down in the midst of all this. Our variable weather has some nasty extremes... and we have seen a few of them lately from drought, bushfire, cyclone, tornado, flood and storm surge. But it is not Uniquely Australian, for all other continents have been having their share too.

Ian

jeff_msn123 on February 2, 2013

Terrible scenery. Well capture the speical moment. LIKE

Cheers, Jeff

Ian Stehbens on February 3, 2013

Thanks Jeff. The foam does little in the way of damage but it is indicative of the wildness of the elements that were at play! Wild winds, wild waves, torrential rain.

Ian

Josef Grohs on March 16, 2013

Hi Ian, what does this foam consist of? Soap? Once again greetings from Austria to Australia, Josef.

Ian Stehbens on March 17, 2013

Warmest regards from a late summer in Australia, Josef.

The foam is merely the ocean water whipped up by a wild storm. This is quite normal in surf to a minor degree, but the cyclone generated so much more. I understand that one factor is the presence of organic matter derived from the breakdown of algae present in the water.

About a month earlier than this I was flying along the coast and observed an algal bloom in the ocean near the coast, all the way from northern Fraser Island to teh Sunshine Coast - this photo having been taken on the Sunshine Coast. (Perhaps I will now upload a couple of images of the algal bloom - including one false colour image that allows you to see the algae more cleraly.)

Because there are rivers emptying into the ocean nearby (Maroochy and Mooloolah Rivers) there was also some flood discoloration of the water. Of course, I waded into the foam, and the foam was not only quite dirty (from the river floods) but also carried quite a lot of sand grains with each bubble, so my clothing needed washing afterwards both to clean and remove the sand.

It is not the result of soap or other pollutants in the water.

Check out this Wikipedia article

Ian

Josef Grohs on March 17, 2013

Thank you, Ian, for this interesting information and link to Wikipedia about the sea foam. You could be glad, that it was not the "chocolate mousse"!

In Middle- and Northern Europe there is still winter with snow in wide areas.

Hearty greetings.

Josef

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 30, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens

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